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Eerie 1950s Western Predicted 'Con Man Trump'

Robert Culp faced off against a swindler on 'Trackdown'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2019 9:39 AM CST

(Newser) – "Uh, your name is Trump?" So asks Robert Culp in an episode of the 1950s Western drama Trackdown that you could say eerily foretells today's politics, Variety reports. An episode of the show titled "The End of the World," which first aired May 9, 1958, depicts a con man named Walter Trump who visits a Texas town and tells them meteors will strike at midnight—but they can be protected by building a wall for $50 a person. "I bring you a message," says the Trump character, played by Lawrence Dobkin. "A message few of you will be able to believe ... but be not afraid my friends: I also bring you the means with which to save yourself."

But Robert Culp's character, a Texas Ranger named Hoby Gilman, sets out to prove Trump a fraud. SPOILER ALERT: The drama heightens until chaos breaks out in the town and Gilman corners the con artist in a barn. "You're under arrest, Trump," says the steely leading man. Trump inquires about the charge, and Gilman tells him, "Well you write it any way you like. Grand theft, fraud—I think the jury will find it's stealin'." Mashable says the episode is "so on point" that during one exchange with Gilman, Trump threatens to sue him. A clip of the episode hit YouTube in November 2016 but has cropped up again on Twitter, for obvious reasons. Snopes confirms that the episode really aired. See it in full here. (Meanwhile, it turns out the FBI opened an inquiry into our modern-day Trump.)

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